Lake Mead could get more help, thanks to water conservation investments

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The Department of Interior announced a $700 million investment in water conservation projects across the Lower Colorado River Basin today that has the potential to save more than 700,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead.

The funds, which come from the Inflation Reduction Act, will go toward water distribution structures, farm efficiency improvements, canal lining, turf removal, desalination, recycling water, water purification and other projects, according to a statement from the Department of Interior.

“Building on our significant efforts to protect the Colorado River System, we are continuing to make smart investments through the President’s Investing in America agenda to strengthen the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River System and support the 40 million people who rely on this basin now and into the future,” said Secretary Deb Haaland in a statement.

Funding announced today will go toward “Bucket 2” projects, which aim to build long-term resiliency in the basin, according to Bureau of Reclamation Commission Camille Calimlim Touton.

Through the “Bucket 1” program, the administration has made commitments to save more than 1.7 million acre-feet of water in the Colorado Bain through 2026, Touton said in a statement.

Projects selected for the funding will be announced on a rolling basis, according to the Department of Interior. The Bureau of Reclamation is working with tribal, state and individual water entitlement holders on proposals for projects in Nevada, Arizona and Southern California.

Contact Jessica Hill at Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.